Meat labels were introduced in 1981. It was one of August 1980’s postulates – HISTORY

At the same time, the decision of the Cabinet headed by General Wojciech Yaruzelsky was in response to the demands of the workers. The thirteenth premise of the strikers at the Gdansk shipyard in August 1980 was to introduce “food stamps for meat (until the market situation is under control)”.

Of the 21 demands, there was no sign of introducing a market economy. Sale of meat “on cards” came into effect on April 1, 1981.

Pages in the history of the People’s Republic of Poland

Previously, the sale of cards for all food items was in force in Poland immediately after World War II. Besides, there were usually not enough goods to cover the card standards at the time. The devastation of the war forced many countries to temporary rationing. On the other hand, from September 1, 1951 to January 3, 1953, there were meat and fat vouchers (only for employees of the social sector).

As of July 1976, sugar vouchers were in effect, despite the fact that Poland was one of the greatest powers in the cultivation of sugar beets. In the 1980s, Jaruzelski’s government spokesman, Jerzy Urban, explained the shortages resulting from overconsumption by the Poles.

Since the end of the seventies, the demand for meat and meat products in Poland has been deteriorating almost from month to month. Residents of large cities and industrial districts – Gdask, Katowice, Wrocław – envied the residents of Elblag, Umea or Olsztyn and other agricultural districts (then the division into 49 districts was in force), where it was difficult, because of the difficulty, but you can get strong or ordinary sausage When the empty shelves are haunted in Tri-City or in Szczecin. Gdansk Dzinik Pateky hopes readers before New Year’s Eve “maybe in the new year 1981 we will see cards for meat and no queues.” We lived to see it.

Introducing meat cards in 1981

The February 1981 decision specified in detail what was owed to whom. The principle was adopted quantitative and quantitative, that is, it was determined how much meat and sausages could be purchased by representatives of a particular professional group. However, this does not mean that by allocating, for example, 3.5 kg of meat (the so-called supply standard B), it was possible to purchase 3.5 kg of pork alone.

The best meats of the first group (including sirloin, pork neck, bone-in pork, boneless shoulder and boneless beef) can be purchased for only 40g. Next to: 85 grams of meat of the second group (ribs, bacon, chopped, kidneys, hearts). One of them was also entitled to 40 grams of cold meats of the first group (pork, stewed pork or sopot sirloin) and 85 grams of the second group (sausage, mortadella, pate, canned luncheon meat) in addition to one chicken. The community was divided into 9 groups.

Group B referred to above includes persons employed in the social economy, young people over 18 years of age studying, officials and foreigners. Most – 5 kg of meat and meat products plus 1 chicken – belong to miners, pregnant women and nursing mothers. They can count on 60 grams of meat from the first group “as much” as 60 grams of quality meat.

Farmers, employees of state farms and rural youth were allocated 2 kg of meat and sausage products, but for some reason they were deprived of chicken allowance. The system, which was supposed to balance the chances of eating “sausage”, further deepened divisions.

Exceptions to the card system

The card system does not cover everyone. Not a single gram was given to students in boarding homes, retirees in nursing homes, or farmers who did not sell their produce to the state. They were said, after all, to have food all day. Nobody looked at the utensils in dorm kitchens to see that they weren’t good with food in 1981.

It soon turns out that owning the cards does not mean that you can buy something for them. The supply hasn’t improved one iota. The queues have not disappeared either. An army of officials was employed to prepare and distribute coupons and monitor the sale of cards. The regulation signed by Yaruzelsky was valid only until June 30, 1981. In fact, the legalization of meat was abolished only eight years later.

The author of the Meat on Cards text is WS. The material is published under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

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